Share via Email Since finding international fame as Charlotte, the over-romantic prude in Sex and the City, Kristin Davis has had to acquire a few 'skills', the main one being to walk very fast. And what if she doesn't walk quite so fast? Maybe I'm paranoid, but the first thing she seems to do is stare at my dry winter lips, frown slightly, reach into her handbag, and apply a slick of lipgloss to her own.
Oh God, I think, she's one of those scary hyper-groomed American women who'd think nothing of naming her stylist as 'next of kin'. In interview terms, this relationship simply isn't going to work.
As it turns out, Southern-born Davis, 35, might be glossy and perfect looking Scarlett O'Hara meets Clueless , with delicate bones and great waves of chestnut hair, but there ends any resemblance to the fragrant Charlotte. Davis laughs a lot, talks a lot articulately , and practically wails with glee when the food arrives: I can't work out whether they realise Davis is the 'quiet' one from Sex and the City, or whether they just assume we're both celebrating our escape from the local nuthouse.
An instant international hit since its inception in , Sex and the City is one of those series you either love or hate, and most of you have decided by now. It swims in and out of the lives of four main characters, Carrie the lovelorn sex columnist played by Sarah Jessica Parker , Samantha the incorrigible sex addict Kim Cattrall , Miranda the lawyer cynic Cynthia Nixon , and the Davis character, Charlotte, the resident Miss Prim.
It is increasingly loosely based on Candace Bushnell's best-selling book. Did Davis ever read it? She raises her eyebrows. However, it has also been widely criticised. As Carrie herself might pensively type on to her omnipresent laptop: Moreover, even a fan of the show and I am one would agree that it depicts women constantly bellyaching about men, obsessively hunting for their next relationship. Her mother, Dorothy, was a university data analyst; her father, Keith, was a professor of psychology.
She had three step-sisters from her father's first marriage, who visited every summer, but mainly led an only-child existence which she feels left her very independent. I'm alone a lot, working, travelling, doing a lot of things alone, because I have to.
It was only a minor moment. There was no way my parents were going to support that and I agreed with them. But I drank a lot, which was rebellious because my parents didn't drink at all.
In the South, pretty much everybody drinks. There was always lots of alcohol, lots of access to alcohol, people sitting around every night with a Mint Julep, or whatever. At high school, it was just crazy. We'd all be behind the gym drinking, about 20 people passing around bourbon or whatever.
Davis pops her eyes. I never even saw cocaine until I left the area. Where I come from, a lot of people didn't have money, but they didn't have gangs or drugs either. There's this whole thing in America about talking about all your addictions and problems and I'm not really into that.
But it's not like I want to keep it a secret either. I just realised that drinking was counterproductive to what I was trying to do. Acting is very difficult in weird ways. You'd have to get to class by 8am, work all day, rehearse all night, and it's not really good to do when you're hung over. I'd wanted to be an actress my whole life, that was my goal, that was all I cared about.
Something had to go, so I chose drinking to go. Sometimes it would be nice to just have some red wine with dinner, but it's not worth the risk. I have a great life, a great situation.
Why would I want to risk self-destructive behaviour? Even though I might not, I might , do you know what I'm saying? You just never know. New York in the 70s was a freak show - so filthy and dirty and wild and scary. But exhilarating at the same time. I was intimidated by it, but aspired to it. Then came the tough years, waiting for parts, waiting for breaks, waiting natch tables. Davis didn't enjoy it much.
I was very poor and I was a waitress, and it's hard to be a poor waitress in New York. The New York writers' strike in the early 80s led to Davis decamping to Los Angeles, which suited her much better. It was produced by one Darren Star. When he came to co-produce Sex and the City, he remembered Davis, first asking her to read for Carrie.
She smoked, she swore a lot, she was very hard, very cynical. I could never have pulled it off. The Sandra Dee of Sex and the City. Once described as 'New York's answer to Liz Hurley' when the series first started, Charlotte seemed to serve as a contrast to the other three characters' ultra-modish promiscuity and cynicism. However, back then Charlotte was on her own. A woman dreaming of tru luv, white weddings and babies, and exuding a touching kind of over-romantic prudishness.
She panicked when a date asked for anal sex in the back of a cab mind you, wouldn't we all? These scenes Carrie, Samantha and Miranda rapping cynically; Charlotte gaping and gasping always reminded me a bit of Grease - three ballsy, mouthy Rizzos ganging up on Charlotte's innocent Sandy. Would Davis agree that, at least at first, her role was that of a 'reaction shot' on behalf of the viewers? Our woman in Manhattan, as it were?
It was certainly set up that the other girls would do things and I would react. I was there as the dissenting voice.
My heart was pounding. I had adrenaline like crazy. It wasn't something Charlotte had ever done before, and it certainly wasn't something I'd ever done before - acting or privately! I asked my parents not to watch it, and not to tell me if they did. Since she died, they watch it all the time - her father uses themes from it in his college lectures on 'Marriage and Sexuality', her mother is slightly less enamoured. She is not a big Samantha fan. Davis thinks for a while and comes up with the one we've seen in Britain recently, where Samantha has sex with a lesbian lover.
Davis giggles bashfully, seeming very 'Charlotte' for the first time. We're all openly pleased. Kim has to be way, way more shocking than the rest of us. And Kim has been nude, very, very nude. I'm so glad I don't have to be. There was one that said we never talk to each other on set, we never even look at each other. Personally, I don't think we could do such a show if we didn't get along. The subtext of all this is that we're women in a show so we can't possibly get along. It's not like they write about The Sopranos like that.
We've been through so much together, we accept each other, we look out for each other. Does that mean we're always going to get along perfectly? But you know, we've been together five years, we spend 18 hours a day together. So when people say: And then we might want to have a private life. They all have boyfriends or husbands or whatever, and they go home to them.
And so they should. On her last break from recording, she spent her time relaxing at her Los Angeles home, walking her dog, going to the gym, seeing friends.
Going by the press cuttings, her last steady boyfriend was Reed Diamond, from Homicide: Life on the Street. There was even talk of an engagement, but they have since split. Does Davis have a relationship at the moment? Her tone becomes wistful. But it's hard to find, just like it is for everyone else. I meet a lot of people, but that doesn't mean you're going to like them. Her problems are the usual thesp story - long working hours, the unique stresses and strains of celebrity culture, which might explain why she has stated a preference for other actors.
I don't like to hurt anybody, and people can be so rude. You'll take someone from outside the industry to a premiere, and everyone will be like: I like green or brown eyes. Tall but not overwhelmingly so. I like men who do yoga and meditate.